Markets rise, dollar drops, oil up
European shares rose yesterday, reversing earlier losses thanks in part to gains in Italian banks and mining stocks.
The dollar dropped to its lowest level in nearly eight months yesterday, lifting metals prices and commodity sector stocks.
Brent crude prices rose to a four-month high as a rally in wider commodities markets encouraged buying ahead of a meeting of oil producers in Doha next Sunday, aimed at freezing current output levels.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.6pc by early afternoon, after advancing 1.2 pc in the previous session. In spite of the gains the index is down almost 9pc so far this year.
The Italian banking sector index rose sharply for a second straight session on hopes the Rome government will soon thrash out a plan to set up a state-backed fund to buy bad loans and plug capital shortfalls. "(There) seems to be a reaction to central bank news surrounding the creation of a recapitalisation fund in Italy to shore up the banks," said James Helliwell, head of markets, Lex van Dam Trading Academy.
"The news has been received positively following ongoing concern around the risks within the European banking sector."
In Ireland, the ISEQ Overall Index was barely changed yesterday at 6,200.22.
Shares in packaging giant Smurfit Kappa continued to gain ground, rising just under 1.4pc, or 32 cent, to finish the session at €23.54. Shares in drinks maker C&C fell 1.1pc to €3.83. CRH advanced almost 0.9pc to €25.28.
The UK's FTSE-100 was also almost unchanged yesterday. German's DAX was up 0.63pc, while France's CAC-40 gained 0.22pc.